By Anthony McClean, Editor In Chief Emeritus NEW HAVEN (BASN) —...
The N – Files, Volume II: Collateral Damage
The N – Files, Volume II: Collateral Damage
By Michael – Louis Ingram
BASN/Soul Tree Radio – In the Raw!
PHILADELPHIA (BASN – STR /ITR): (two weeks later)
N-Files Glossary: UPS (Ultrasonic Pulse Scanner); BIG UPS (Bilateral Integrated “Ghost” Ultrasonic Pulse Scanner);
RATs (Residual Audio Templates); MAUS (Mobile Analog Uplink Source)
RBG (Red Black Green, aka Reparations by Graduations); MAMA (Modified Analog Masking Apparatus)
“We don’t keep track of single quarter records; but geez, 356 yards – who could’ve gained more than that?”
(Seymore Siwoff, head of Elias Sports Bureau, commenting on Washington quarterback and Super Bowl XXII Most Valuable Player Doug Williams’ second quarter performance against John Elway’s Denver Broncos; Williams would lead his team to a 35 point, 356 yard explosion – which resulted in a 42 – 10 destruction of favored Denver.)
Over the din of cheers and elation over Washington and Doug Williams at San Diego’s Jack Murphy Stadium, some asshole is bleating on-air about how he hopes this (paraphrasing) “Finally dispels the myth as to whether or not Black men are capable of playing the position…”
(A bottle of Johnny Walker Blue Label goes flying across the room, the incensed silver-haired man who had every intention of toasting a Denver victory with the signature scotch whiskey, grabs the Presidential Suite’s house phone. “There is something very wrong here,” the gravelly gruff baritone bellowed. “We need to talk – like now!”)
Ask anyone who works for a living in Philadelphia, and they will tell you the lunch carts are the life force of the workforce. Good food and a good price for folks trying to make it, no matter what collar one wears.
Chanticleer Piper observed the noon day bustle along 16th Street in Center City, waiting to put in his order at his favorite cart, parked near the corner of 16th and Spruce Streets.
The idea of a chicken cheese steak sounded even better as it was sizzling on the grill next to the other orders. A clear day and a little sunshine vitamin always stimulated the appetite, and as the sandwiches and drinks were being piled onto to the small cardboard box Piper was carrying, he spotted Agent George Wheelwright a few yards away sitting on one of the bench areas, bantering with Agent Craig Buchanan.
It didn’t take any eavesdropping device to know the subject being discussed, Piper walking into the discourse as Buchanan was pontificating. “Yeah, Wheels your Silver and Black looked good beating up on San Diego, but they didn’t get the job done! Not like my Pittsburgh Steelers, the six time Super Bowl Champions, and the only – “
“Aww, here we go; now you know can’t get away with sayin’ that in “Iggles” country!” laughed Piper. Clearly, your temporary insanity requires nourishment, so here’s lunch. Cheese steak, chips and apple juice for CB – and a tuna hoagie with cheese, chips and an orange soda for you, Wheels.”
Wheelwright digs into his bag, then stopped. “Hey Piper, where’s my –“
“Oops, my bad – here you go, Wheels.” Piper took the package out of his jacket pocket and handed it to Wheelwright, whose eyes lit up. “Yeah, my Krimpets,” smiled Wheelwright. These bad boys are hard to get out in Cali.” Wheelwright opened up the Tastykake Butterscotch Krimpets, and chomped down on one of the iced sponge cakes.
“You don’t have to tell me, bro,” said Piper. My Aunt Dessa used to always bring those and the Chocolate Juniors and cup cakes from Philly whenever she and my cousins came to New York; when I was a kid, you couldn’t get them there, either.”
Piper took a bite out of his chicken cheese steak and a swig of his IBC Root Beer before continuing. “I think now’s as good a time as any; MAMA’s five-by-five on the signal, so plug in and enable your MAUS if you haven’t already.”
The two agents nodded affirmatively and Piper tapped in his clearance code.
“Alright, guys – time to compare notes. MAMA’s listening and Director McClain is receiving. Wheels, let’s start with you – what did you do in San Diego?
“I planted an Ultrasonic Pulse Scanner on one of the city transit’s light rail cars whose route ran by where Jack Murphy stadium used to be; confirmed unit was working and properly scanning every six hours until I left town four days later.
“I then contacted RBG Central and through one of our contacts in Las Vegas had a BIG UPS connected underneath the antenna atop the Stratosphere Hotel; it started sending signals ten minutes after confirmation of connection.
“After the composite scan, readout produced 16 pages of ghosts. After locking in on the area of greatest concentration, RBG dispatched two agents who placed RATs in the race/sport book areas of six different casinos, with timers set for January 30, 1988 – the day before Super Bowl XXII. Out of the six RATs, four picked up recoverable information before self-destructing.”
“Sounds good, Wheels – Mr. Buchanan, what did you find out on your end?”
Pausing to digest the chomp’s worth of steak sandwich, Buchanan coughed and cleared his throat. “You know, when you first brought this up, I started thinking about Super Bowl XXII and how Doug Williams lit up the Broncos.
“Well, it got me thinking about how hyped I was about my Steelers when they not only signed Joe Gilliam, but when he won the starting spot at quarterback in 1974. Hey, I wasn’t even old enough to really grasp the idea of it; I just knew how everyone else reacted to it so I knew it had to be something special.
“Now everybody knows Gilliam didn’t lose his job because the team was bad; by all accounts, they should’ve been a favorite that year – and he was 4-1-1 after six games.”
Wheelwright jumped in. “So, Pittsburgh realizes they have a Black man leading a team with serious Super Bowl potential – and they freak out! Hey, Gilliam didn’t have a losing record – he won almost 70 percent of the games he started in.”
“Exactly,” said Buchanan. “Ain’t no other way to say it – they bitched up big time in not following through on an opportunity a Black man had earned. My Uncle Nate talked about that a lot as Williams and Washington were getting closer to the Super Bowl.
“So before we all hooked up, I did some digging on my own. According to all accounts, Gilliam had the job taken from him; he didn’t lose it.
“Well, when you put this together with the fact Jay Schroeder was supposed to be Washington’s quarterback when the 1987 season started, it further proves Williams’ elevation to first string and everything else that followed wasn’t supposed to happen.
“So I had Digital Donna plant a BIG UPS in the area that was Three Rivers Stadium (now Heinz Field) and preset it for September of 1974 in the hopes we could scare up a ghost or two. As of right now, we’ve got barely a page of data; the time difference is making this a bit more difficult to sort through; but it is giving up something.”
Piper smiled. “Good lookin’ out on that, Craig – you tying in what Pittsburgh did and didn’t do gives this more weight. Especially when it came to Vegas setting the odds:
“You got to figure even with Schroeder starting that game, Washington would have gotten more play; maybe even gets a slight favorite. Because anyone who really understood football knew that in every unit – offense, defense and special teams – Washington was superior.”
Wheelwright chimed in. “You got that right, brother man. Washington’s ‘Hogs’ on the offensive line were arguably the best line in football at that time.”
“Exactly,” said Piper. And let’s not forgot how Washington benefited from the USFL getting co-opted by the NFL in court. They used Kelvin Bryant and George Rogers to get there on the ground; and had Ricky Sanders, Gary Clark and Art Monk to catch the ball along with Clint Didier and Don Warren when they ran out of that twin tight end formation.
“Bryant, Sanders and Clark were USFL All-Stars, and Monk – well, he was only a Hall of Fame receiver.
“Denver had no answer for that.”
“They didn’t have any answer for them on defense, either,” said Buchanan. Aside from Mecklenburg at linebacker and Dennis Smith at safety being a big hitter, they really didn’t have anyone who scared you.
“Washington had a good pass rush, and three of the guys in their secondary had made All-Pro. Hell, Darrell Green was at his peak, and he’s a Hall of Famer now.”
“Okay, so you put all this together,” paused Piper, ”and in spite of all this Washington stays a three point underdog – and we know why – no way this Nigger’s supposed to beat their pigskin god John Elway.”
Las Vegas -1988…
(The silver haired man was showing streaks of red through his somewhat tanned face as he continued his telephone rant. “The goddamn game is over and how the fuck am I gonna recoup my losses?
“You said them sumbitch Redskins was a busted flush; where the fuck was all that damn offense when they were playing during the goddamn season? I lost everything – even the under – and some asshole’s running up and down the damn hall squealing like a bitch about how he made $250K on Ricky Sanders catching that damn TD pass!”
“Listen you don’t-know-shit-from-Shinola peckerwood – when you all get together in Palm Springs over the next couple months, there has to be insurance that this situation can never – and I mean never – happen again!”)
To be continued…
Copyright @2009 Michael – Louis Ingram all rights reserved.